When Neill Blomkamp exploded onto the scene with his first feature film ‘District 9’, audiences were enamored with his fresh, original ideas and exemplary character design, so naturally his next film was highly anticipated. However, his sophomore effort ‘Elysium’ just didn’t reach the bar that the filmmaker set for himself. While some people may have left the theater a bit underwhelmed over the weekend, Sony Pictures still believes in Blomkamp as they have decided to keep him in the family and pick up his third film.
According to Deadline, the studio announced that they would co-finance and distribute Blomkamp’s next film, ‘Chappie’. The story written by the director and Terri Tatchell is based on his short ‘Tetra Vaal’ and follows “a robot imbued with artificial intelligence who is stolen by two local gangsters who want to use him for their own nefarious purposes”. Sharlto Copley, who has appeared in all the other filmmaker’s movies, will provide the voice to the robot and Die Antwoord members Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er will play the gangsters.
Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad spoke very highly of South African movie maker and the studio’s continued relationship with him:
“We’re huge fans of Neill Blomkamp – it’s a real thrill to be continuing our relationship with such a visionary and important filmmaker. Neill has proven that he is a true original voice and we expect that ‘Chappie’ will strike a chord with worldwide audiences in the same way that ‘District 9’ and ‘Elysium’ have. We love the script he and Terri have written and we’re looking forward to working again with our friends at MRC.”
Unfortunately, with this ‘Chappie’ and ‘Mild Oats’ on his slate already, we’ll have to wait a little longer to see Blomkamp revisit his first film with the sequel ‘District 10’, but at last word, he is working on it with Tatchell, so at least it’s in the pipeline. But no matter what he works on next, hopefully he bounces back and finds the stride that he lost a bit with ‘Elysium’.
Are you excited to see what Neill Blomkamp does next? Based on the little information we have at the moment, what are your expectations for ‘Chappie’? Sound off in the comments.